EU Maritime Policy

On 10 October 2007, the European Commission presented its vision for an integrated maritime policy for the European Union. The vision document – also called the Blue book – was accompanied by a detailed action plan and a report on the results of the broad stakeholder consultation.

The Blue Book outlines an integrated maritime policy for the Union, enabling it to adequately address the opportunities and challenges arising from technological development, globalisation, climate change, and marine pollution, among others, which constitutes a landslide shift from the sectoral approaches practiced so far.

The Communication and accompanying Action Plan list a range of concrete actions to be launched during the mandate of this Commission. These actions cover a wide spectrum of issues ranging from maritime transport to the competitiveness of maritime businesses, employment, scientific research, fisheries and the protection of the marine environment.

GMES in the context of the maritime policy is seen as the essential element for the establishment of an appropriate marine data and information infrastructure (EMODNET: European Marine Observation and Data Network) which in turn should enable strategic decision-making on maritime policy, the expansion of value-added services, and sustainable maritime development. In particular, EMODNET based on GMES and integrated with GEOSS will serve to increase the precision of estimates of the magnitude and impact of climate change.

A second field of maritime policy where GMES is expected to play an important role is the monitoring of activities at sea (“maritime surveillance”), such as border control and traffic monitoring. As the member states and relevant agencies move towards more integration between the various systems engaged in or using maritime surveillance, new applications developed by GMES can be successively integrated.

The Blue Book and related documents may be found here:

Author: EARSC

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